Getting Ready For Kindergarten


Appropriate social and emotional development is key to early school success. To get a good start on their school careers, it helps if new students arrive in kindergarten already knowing how to feed and dress themselves, how to stand in a line, how to wait their turn and how to sit still enough to follow simple instructions.

But it can get more complicated: According to experts Carolyn Webster-Stratton and M. Jamilla Reid:

“Children who have difficulty paying attention, following teacher directions, getting along with others and controlling negative emotions, do less well in school and are more likely to be rejected by classmates and get less positive feedback from teachers.” *

*Strengthening Social and Emotional Competence in Young Children: The Foundation for Early School Readiness Success. From Infants and Small Children Vol 17, No 2. Pages 96-113, Copyright Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Inc.


Drs. Webster-Stratton and Reid have developed The Incredible Years Dinosaur Social Skills and Problem Solving Child Training Program, a prevention curriculum out of the University of Washington that started out as a small group treatment program but has since been adapted for use by pre-school and elementary school teachers. The program teaches children emotional literacy, anger management, empathy, friendship and communication skills, and targets parents, teachers and the children.

Dinosaur Years 7 step process of problem solving for children:

1) How am I feeling and what is my problem? (Define problem and feelings)

2) What is a solution?

3) What are more solutions? (Brainstorm solution or alternative choices)

4) What are the consequences?

5) What is the best solution? (Is the solution safe, fair and does it lead to good feelings?)

6) Can I use my plan?

7) How did I do?(Evaluation)

Additional Resources

The Incredible Years The program aims  to build social and emotional competence in young children.


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